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Question Number: 32679

Mechanics 9/1/2018

RE: Pro Adult

Fidel Jaary of Auckland, New Zealand asks...

Hi Sir,

What do referees say to players going at each other at the time of taking a corner kick, i see defenders and stickers pushing and shoving each other.

i normally blow my whistle and address the situation by talking to both defenders and striker say hands off and no need for such thing, play smart.

So am i right in saying this and i would like to know what do professional referees say to players inside the penalty area when they see such action.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Fidel
Thanks for the question
Pro referees are saying the exact same to the players which is to say hands off, holding is a foul, I am watching you!
Personally I do not agree with this approach as we do not do it in open play so why do we digress at a set play. Players know that it is a foul to pull, push, hold an opponent. Yes it can head off possible misconduct yet it it is now a feature of every attacking restart!
For me if the referee sees an infringement he should call it, If that happened more times there would be less shenanigans at the restart. Even after advising players I see little change in behaviour?
In games where a penalty has been awarded I see less of this conduct.
UEFA Pro refs have been advised to take action in such situations and they just follow advice using whatever words that they believe will work to prevent the behaviour continuing.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Fidel,
The action you are taking and the wording you are using sound fine to me. As far as the Laws go, both you and they are following the advice in the Laws document which states:

''Referees are reminded to make an early intervention and to deal firmly with holding offences, especially inside the penalty area at corner kicks and free kicks. To deal with these situations:
- the referee must warn any player holding an opponent before the ball is in play
- caution the player if the holding continues before the ball is in play
- award a direct free kick or penalty kick and caution the player if it happens once the ball is in play''

However I would say that this kind of preventive action can be taken too far and in my opinion it was, in the recent World Cup, for instance. There, referees spent inordinate amounts of time warning players not to hold at free kicks and corner kicks - even when no holding was actually taking place. So I would say, be on the look out for holding, intervene early if it is actually causing a problem but don't go looking for it if it isn't there.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Fidel,
I think what you say is fine.
I find I address this pregame with 'Lets keep the BS in the PA to a minimum on free kicks as well as respect ten yards and do not be delaying restarts;

Keep it short & sweet with things like

15 red 13 blue seriously?
Knock it off!
Bad idea guys!
Sort this out or I will!
Who is leading on the dance card?
I do not see married couples hold each other this close?

The safe sign in baseball for those not speaking your language of the palms out flat crossing when saying enough or separating the players. I pull my own jersey & peep out or tap the yellow card from my shirt with a hunch arm palms up as if indicating 'Is this what you want?

I recall on a real hot day an intercity men's settings where upon a long ball out cleared over the goal line we are waiting for the game ball to be returned for the eventual corner.
Two gun-ho players, one defender one attacker started the PA dance where the both were was twisting & turning, arms reaching out running back and forth in between other STANDING players and myself all dripping with sweat as we all watched in disbelief until I cried out, 'SERIOUSLY? Guys the ball has yet to be retrieved, its a zillion degrees, can we at least wait until the ball gets to the corner before we start this dance? They both stopped realized the absurdity of what they were doing as everyone was just standing dripping sweat were laughing. They both went and shared a water bottle. The game was an easy one after that as we all realized the heat was too intense to be so intense even inside the PA area.

Of course both sets of players will get arm across and a hold onto the other as a dual foul so to decipher who is holding who is a toss up.

Personally I dislike attackers who surround the keeper and often see reason to make an impeding call ASAP as soon as the ball is kicked. Attackers running in groups or using one another as screens when coming into the PA on a run frequently block our defenders prior the defender beginning to hold a they run into and over not around.

The opposite side is defenders like to drape arms and pull or push down trying to not grab open palm but the holding is the arm drape itself.

I think you could conceivably make a legitimate call either way most every ball delivered into the PA against either team.

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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

In the 'Practical Guidelines' section it says:

''Holding an opponent
Referees are reminded to make an early intervention and to deal firmly with holding offences, especially inside the penalty area at corner kicks and free kicks.
To deal with these situations:

 the referee must warn any player holding an opponent before the ball is in play

 caution the player if the holding continues before the ball is in play

 award a direct free kick or penalty kick and caution the player if it happens once the ball is in play''

UEFA Referee Development Programme Practical Information for Match Officials

** The illegal use of the arms, particularly prior to the taking of corner kicks and free kicks near goal, has become increasingly apparent.
Referees should be pro-active prior to play re-starting at a corner kick or free kick and they should be clearly seen to take preventive action. Conflict can be avoided by taking early preventative action e.g. when players are jostling for positions in or near the penalty area.
Where possible, referees should use their assistants to ensure the ball does not enter the field of play until he gives a signal for the game to be re-started.
It is essential that any similar misconduct after a referee's initial preventive actions is dealt with firmly
Before the ball is in play it should result in either a yellow card or a red card depending upon the seriousness of the misconduct.
After the ball is in play referees must deal very firmly with continued holding, pushing etc. by awarding a free kick/penalty kick depending upon which team commits the offence.
In appropriate cases, further disciplinary sanctions may also be necessary. Referees may of course take such firm action also without initial warning!
Considerable improvement has been noticed recently and strict action has been taken. However, the referees
are reminded to continue to take strict action against holding, pulling and pushing within the penalty area and to apply the recommended procedure!**

From our pitch to your pitch in the spirit of fair play

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